Joe Webster is an International award winning plein-air artist from Britain’s South West who captures all elements of the landscapes that he exposes himself to.
His award-winning paintings feature the seascapes, woodlands and moorland of the South West of England. Working in all types of weather Joe’s paintings are elemental, sometimes serene, sometimes weather-beaten and windswept; each recording the joy of being in the natural world. Sun, rain, mist, hail or snow all interact with the paint creating vastly different effects in each work, enhancing his play between abstraction and realism.
I paint on-site using acrylics, graffiti tools and mixed media, which through interaction with the weather, capture the sense of each unique location and experience. Working between abstraction and realism and often in challenging situations and timescales, my work presents the contrasting landscape as both tranquil and nurturing as well as wild and raw.
I find painting outdoors exhilarating and joyful, it gives my painting purpose and energy and it makes me feel alive. Balancing that fragile crux between success or failure is breath-taking. Working with heightened risk of failure holds the potential for the greatest outcomes.
Ultimately I paint because it fundamentally challenges my being. It’s invigorating, sometimes elating, sometimes unbearable, but it always connects me directly to something much larger and much more important than myself.
Joe Webster on his 2019 Margaret River Artist In Residence
20 years ago I completed part of my undergraduate studies at Murdoch University, Perth and drove the South West peninsula and on up to Darwin. The sustained intimacy of this experience with the wilderness and vast scale of the landscape left a deep impression on me.
I remember vividly the acoustics within the Karri forests where the canopy was so high that bird calls echoed for miles far above my head. I remember days climbing hills, sitting beside waterholes and discovering unfathomably ancient Aboriginal rock-art. It felt as though I was travelling through a huge cathedral dotted with monuments to nature and life, vast canyons bare and dry but witness to dramatic volumes of water, limitless beaches and open plains.
I am captivated by the Australian wilderness, the uninterrupted and unmediated expanses of natural landscape contrast powerfully with the densely populated landscape of Britain. The moorland and coastlines where I live in the South West are known for their beauty and wildness, but it is hard to find a complete vista with no signs of human impact; the Australian diaspora is on another scale.
This opportunity to re-immerse myself in such wilderness and capture the experience is very exciting.
Joe Webster’s 2019 artist in residence & exhibition in Margaret River is sponsored by European Union.
Joe Webster CV
2019 The Palm Tree Gallery, London Harbour House Gallery, Kingsbridge 2018 Beyond the Snow, The Salthouse Gallery, St Ives 2017 Cornish Coasts, The Salthouse Gallery, St Ives New Light, The Customs House, Exeter Spring to Autumn, The Salthouse Gallery, St Ives 2016 Devon Colours, The Customs House, Exeter 2013 New Work, Boston Tea Party, Exeter Springscapes, The Kingswood & Devoran Hotel, Sidmouth 2012 New Work, Boston Tea Party, Exeter New Work, The Massage & Wellbeing Centre, Exeter 2010 ‘HeArt’, The Natural Health Centre, Exeter 2009 Galeria Corté Real, Algarve, Portugal Selected
2016 SWAc Annual Open Exhibition, Exeter Castle 2015 SWAc Annual Open Exhibition, St Stephens Church, Exeter 2011 ‘The Peoples Auction,’ Shelterbox fundraiser for Japan Tsunami 2010 Paragon Gallery, Exeter 2009 Two Man Show, Cider Barn Gallery, North Dartmoor ‘Straight From The Studio Exhibition,’ Cullompton 2008 Voestoots Gallery, Teignmouth 2007 Artmill Gallery, Plymouth 2006 ‘Iberian Peninsula,’ The New Country Inn, Smithaleigh 2005 – 2007 D’Art Gallery, Dartmouth 2003 – 2014 Regular Exhibitions, Galeria Côrte Real, Portugal
2006 – 2007 PGCE Art, Exeter University 1999 – 2002 BA. Hons. Contemporary Arts, Nottingham Trent University 1997 – 1998 Foundation Art & Design, Falmouth College of Arts 1995 – 1997 A-level Art, Graphics & Physics 1992 – 1997 Studied with Carole Vincent Boscastle, Cornwall
Joe has work in private collections in the UK, Spain, Portugal, France, Sweden, Germany, Prague, USA, Brazil, Australia and Malaysia and has exhibited with the following galleries: Paragon Gallery, Exeter; Voestoots Gallery, Teignmouth; Artmill Gallery, Plymouth; D’Art Gallery, Dartmouth, Devon and Galeria Côrte Real, Portugal.
“The emotive paintings of Joe Webster are love songs to the world, to nature, and to all that is real, strong, wild and free. Like a poet wielding a brush he immerses himself in his landscapes. He paints with his soul as much as his body, and with a raw abandon tempered by a steadfast appreciation of structure, form, colour and technique.
It is startling to see him on a vast and empty beach, cli s looming all around, rain spattering his canvas, he is a tiny speck in nature, like driftwood, only buttressed by his easel, a warm jacket and a will to transmute the glory of all that is around him into form.
The best artists bring the deepest part of themselves into their work, leaving a subtle energetic residue of their soul at that time, in that place, like an etheric snapshot of who they most profoundly are. Their essence is somehow painted into the landscape or the tree or the clouds untethered on the horizon. It is a unique and binding alchemy that rings out from the work with a gentle authority and a silent integrity. Joe Webster is such an artist. He stands strong in the throes of the natural world and dares himself to withstand it, to capture it, to somehow hold it to him, so he can o er it to you. His art is a way to come home to the truest place of belonging, nature. His is an ethos that says ‘be here, now’.”